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TM-105   PS-002
Sugar cube bug

TM-105 was a subminiature wireless covert listening device (bug) at the size of a sugar cube, supplied in the early 1970s by TMS electronic in Köln (Germany) [1] and, under different names, by other spy and security shops in Europe, such as the PSS Spy Shop in Amsterdam (Netherlands), where it was known as PS-002. Devices like this are illegal and were usually advertised as 'for export only'. During the Cold War the device was known by the MfS (Stasi) as TRM-105 [B]. 1

The image on the right shows the subminiature bug aside a few real sugar cubes. The device is powered by an internal 1.5V button-type battery and has an operational range of 150 (indoors) to 300 metres (outdoors). It is based on a rather simple free-running transmitter, operating at 283.9 MHz, the device is rather instable.

The frequency can be adjusted with a small screw in the bottom half of the device. The conversation in the room is picked up by a sensitive microphone that is located behind a small hole at one of the corners of the unit.
  
Sugar Cube Bug in front of some real sugar cubes

As the device is rather sensitive to the so-called hand effect, it is less suitable for body worn operation. Instead it should be hidden in a room, for example between real sugar cubes. Due to the extremely small size (23 x 23 x 12 mm), it can be built into a variety of concealments. In 1993, the device shown here was sold 'under the counter' for NLG 550 (EUR 200) [1].

  1. Note that this product was sold by many spy & sucurity shops, under different model numbers.

Sugar cube bug inside the original packaging
PS-002 Sugar Cube Bug
Sugar Cube Bug in front of some real sugar cubes
PS-002 Sugar Cube Bug
PS-002 Sugar Cube Bug with battery
Sugar Cube Bug inside the palm of a hand
Microphone behind the small hole at the corner
Frequency adjustment screw
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Sugar cube bug inside the original packaging
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PS-002 Sugar Cube Bug
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Sugar Cube Bug in front of some real sugar cubes
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PS-002 Sugar Cube Bug
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PS-002 Sugar Cube Bug with battery
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Sugar Cube Bug inside the palm of a hand
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Microphone behind the small hole at the corner
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Frequency adjustment screw

Documentation
  1. TMS 'electronics' catalogue
    Date unknown, but probably early 1972/73. 1

  2. Drahtloses FM-Subminiatur-Mikrofon TRM 105
    MfS, HA-III, Nr. 10592, page A1.5. 2
  1. Document kindly supplied by Detlev Vreisleben [2].
  2. Document obtained from BStU [3].

References
  1. Spy Shop Amsterdam, Sugar cube bug
    Instruction leaflet (Dutch). 1993. Spy-Shop cat.nr. PS-002.

  2. Detlev Vreisleben, TMS electronic catalogue
    Received May 2019.

  3. Bundesbeauftragte für die Stasi-Unterlagen (BStU) 1
    Federal Commissioner for the Stasi-Records.
  1. Full name: Bundesbeauftragte für die Unterlagen des Staatssicherheitsdienstes der ehemaligen Deutschen Demokratischen Republik (DDR) — Federal Commissioner for the Records of the State Security Service of the former German Democratic Republic (GDR) — officially abbreviated to BStU.

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Crypto Museum. Created: Monday 29 April 2013. Last changed: Thursday, 13 June 2019 - 05:45 CET.
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